(New York) – The COVID-19 crisis has a potentially far-reaching, long-term negative impact on children around the world, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The impact is likely to be devastating, even though children who contract COVID-19 appear to have less severe symptoms and lower mortality rates than other age groups.
More than 1.5 billion students are out of school. Widespread job and income loss and economic insecurity among families are likely to increase rates of child labor, sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, and child marriage. Stresses on families, particularly those living under quarantines and lockdowns, are increasing the incidence of domestic violence. As the global death toll from COVID-19 increases, large numbers of children will be orphaned and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
“The risks posed by the COVID-19 crisis to children are enormous,” said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Governments need to act urgently to protect children during the pandemic, but also to consider how their decisions now will best uphold children’s rights after the crisis ends.”See Full Article